Smaragdus, the name of several monkish writers in the Middle Ages.
1. An abbot of the Convent of St. Michael, in the diocese of Verdun, who was one of the most learned of Frankish theologians in the Carlovingian period. He stood high in the regard of the emperor Charlemagne, as appears from the fact that in A.D. 810 he was associated with a commission to convey to pope Leo III the decisions of the Synod of Aix- la-Chapelle of 809 with regard to the Filioque dispute, and served as its secretary (comp. the record from his pen entitled Acta Collationis Romanoe, in Baronius, Ann. ad ann. 809, No. 54-63; Labbe, Coll. Concil. tom 7; and in Migne's complete ed. of Smaragdus [Paris, 1852], p. 971 sq.). Louis the Pious also esteemed Smaragdus highly, and not only gave donations and immunities to St. Michael's Convent (see the Chartoe Ludovici... et Lotharii... pro Monast. S. Michaelis, in Baluze, Miscell. lib. 4, and Migne, p. 975 sq.), but also constituted him one of the arbitrators in the quarrel of the abbot Ismund of Milan with his monks (see the Epist. ad Ludov. August. in Duchesne, Script. Rer. Franc. 2, 71 sq.). The year of Smaragdus's death is not known, though he does not seem to have outlived the king, Louis the Pious. His writings, now very largely accessible in Migne, as above, give evidence of considerable familiarity with patristical lore and of a pious and practical mind, somewhat influenced by the healthful and sober tendency of the Frankish-German theology of the time. There is, however, no sign of originality in them. His principal exegetical work the Comment. s. Collect. in Evangel. et Epist. etc. (1st ed. Strasburg, 1594) — is a mere compilation, without other method than the mere concatenation of opinions expressed by older writers, and without a definite adhesion to either historico-grammatical interpretation or excessive allegorizing. His second important work — Expositio s. Comment. in Reg. S. Bened. — is more independent. In it Smaragdus appears as a supporter of the strict principles of monastic reform advocated by his contemporary Benedict of Aniane. A similar tendency is displayed, in Diadema Monachorum, a collection of ascetic rules for the government of monks, compiled from the Church fathers. The Via Regia is essentially an extract from the last mentioned work. The above, with others of minor importance, are printed in Migne; and, together with certain unprinted manuscripts (concerning which, see Mabillon, Annal. p. 350 sq.), constitute all of the works of Smaragdus which have been preserved to us.
2. A friend and pupil of Benedict of Aniane, whose real name was Ardo. Having witnessed the death of Benedict, he was appointed to write his biography (see the work, Vita S. Benedicti Anianensis, in Mabillon, Acta SS. O.S.B. Saec. 4, pt. 1, p. 191 sq.; and Migne, pt. 103, p. 354 sq.). Smaragdus died in 843, aged sixty years.
3. The abbot of a monastery at Luneburg, Saxony, which was founded in 972 by the duke Hermann Billung, so that he could not belong to a period earlier than about A.D. 1000. Nothing is known with regard to literary labor performed by his hand, though he may be the author of a
Grammatica Major s. Comment. in Donatum, from which Mabillon gives citations (Annal. p. 358 sq.), and which is sometimes ascribed to Smaragdus No. 1. See D'Achery, Spicileg. 1, 238.